The Trouble With Verse

The trouble with verse is it runs round my brain/
and colours my writing again and again./
Waltz time's the worst, as it feels so entrancing/
- one two three one two three, twirling and dancing.//

Jumpy metre's just as bad./
Alliteration drives me mad./
Another problem's punctuation./
Tricky words like "delectation,"/
"politics" and "recondite"/
have no place in what I write.//

And then there's the case of the limerick:/
Once thought of it's hard to be rid of it./
It nags to be said/
In kitchen and bed/
de diddle de dums till I'm sick of it.//

At penning songs I have no skill:/
just tunes repeat, as some tunes will,/
taunting me to give them more/
than fiddle-and-bow and folky score.//

The englyn in English is angled to tease;/
A stately sonnet aims to please/
or anger or sadden./
An epic might madden./
Blank verse is my forte, without any doubt./
But, for all my complaining, I can't leave rhyme out!

Room Service

The woods are his playground,/
his larder, his own place:/
this private bear.//

Berries staunch his hunger:/
a feast of fungi, a platter of herbs./
Streams quench his thirst:/
finer than wine for/
this wild bear.//

Mountains for wandering./
Cavern his sleep place./
tall firs to scratch his back./
birds to comb his pelt./
Bees make honey, salmon swarm/
for this fine bear.

Childhood's home of my heart,/
the years have changed you:/
your thick warding stone walls pierced/
by windows fashionably large,/
your clear stoney yard filled now/
with a spreading ash tree./
The smell of cows has vanished/
from the farmhouse; and the hay-barn/
where first I made love/
is empty of all but spiders/
and a stranger's odds.//

Weeds crowd the lanes, the old ways/
have gone from you./
But still I see my father/
striding out into the early dawn./
The smell of his milking-coats still lie in my nose,/
and the magic of snow/
and "Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!" still dwell/
in my heart./

The rain sweeps the same across the valley,/
though the trains have gone;/
and the deep deceitful Teifi/
still flows as it did/
in the days of old times,
full of fish and .//
A deep and perfect place:/
starry buds twinkle among silver-trunked woods./
Water slides green and grey and brown beneath,/
sliding, rippling, bubbling./
Primrose and celandine/
cling to the far bank, and small birds/
are busy between the boughs,/
There is no sound but the shallow churning stream/
and the wind/
and the birds./
Kingfisher flashes/
the year's first blessing.
Not having written a word for a week/
What kind of challenge is that?/
Bear's fertile brain has said barely a squeak/
And all those intentions fell flat./

But here I am penning a rhyme for a change/
(Though not much inspired, as you see)/
No longer I'll sulk like a dog with the mange;/
No longer from verse will I flee./

Though sometimes I'll feel like a bit of a fraud,/
Once more will I take up my pen,/
And though surely my writing will be somewhat flawed/
I'm back in the challenge agen!
Wonderful alliterative word:/
Unstoppable force of a rolling boulder,/

The inescapable passage of time. Thus:/
The ineluctable rise and fall/
Of civilisations;/
The ineluctable rule of religions./
The ineluctability of change and/
The ineluctable slipping away of the old./
My mother is ineluctably slipping away./
Is it possible to re-eluct?/
To call her back?/
Call back her youth and vigour,/
So she no longer yearns to go?
Although I swore I wouldn't write a list,/
Here is, incomplete, /
This week's gratefulness. For://

My husband, sleeping next to me./
My family, one by one,/
Before they left me/
For other lands.//

The place I live, country of my heart./
My dearest friends, ageing now/
My sight, my healthy body, my mind./
The gift of kindness. laughter.//

My name, from which I often garner strength./
Unusual parents, unlooked-for love./
Music, to play and to listen./
Birdsong, fragrance of flowers, and all/
Things sensual.//
Today is not a day for writing poetry. /

No lists of beautiful things, /

interesting or thoughtful things, /

just the sun, shining incessantly. /

Just the wind, blowing meanly through my fingers. /

No rain. Inspiration and flood waters have dried, /

and there's no music in my soul. No sadness /

either, nor boredom, nor joy. All the languages/

of my expressiveness are silent today. /

All except baking: in my kitchen /

- out of season now - /

hot cross buns are rising./
"He's digging down"/
said the woman on the bus.//

I would like to dig up/
shovelling the cold air/
like a mole/
up through the imagined/
toughness of clouds/
heaping my molehill/
above the brittle sky/
My first attempt at writing a poem in Welsh turned out to be a sort of sonnet! Hardly bard material, but I guess it's a start. Translation of sorts below.

gwyn yr eira, oer y gwynt,/
ddawr gwanwyn ddim ynghynt.//

wele ar y ben bob cangen/
hepian yw blagyren bychan.//

oedynt adar wneud eu nyth:/
mae gwynt yn gryfach eto'n fyth//

dere gwanwyn, dere haul!/
rhodda'ch caredigrwydd inni'n hael!//

disgwylwn weld yr byd yn gwennu,/
'n glasu'r ddaear,  llwyddo,  bucheddu/
yn fuan byddwn calonogi/
yn sicr daw'r gwanwyn eleni!//

The TRANSLATION goes something like this:

white the snow, cold the wind,/
this isn't an early spring//

look, at the end of each twig/
a little bud is sleeping//

birds are delaying their nestbuilding:/
the wind is still getting stronger.//

Come spring! Come sun!/
give us generous kindness!//

We expect to see the world smiling/
the earth greening, flourishing, expanding/
soon we will be full-hearted,/
the spring is certainly coming this year!//


    Dw i'n byw yn Aberystwyth gyda ngwr i,ein cath ac ein ci ni. (I live in Aberystwyth with my husband, our cat and our dog). Dyn ni wedi bod yn dysgu Cymraeg ers 2007. (We've been learning Welsh since 2007)


    April 2013

    Hammered dulcimer.
    Writing: books
    Writing: poetry
    Writing: music